A driving holiday on the continent can seem a good option, but beware, there are hidden risks
If you’re going abroad, you may be under the illusion that you are immune from offences on the road. Unfortunately it is not the case, and you may be surprised to know that you will be given very little sympathy. Motoring across the Channel can work out expensive. In Europe speed cameras, overzealous policemen and on-the-spot fines await the unwitting British Driver.
An EU directive began in March allowing European countries to share driver information. EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas said, ‘Foreign drivers account for 5% of traffic on Europe’s roads, but 15% of offences. If you are that driver, I have bad news. It’s about to stop.’
The British are being forced to hand over 90 euros for not displaying a GB sticker or failing to carry a high-visibility vest. Not having a warning triangle or spare bulbs can cost another 90 euros. In France licence and vehicle confiscation is also another possibility.
Different countries have various rules on what you need to keep in your car. Check out www.fco.gov.uk for full details on what you’re obliged and advised to take. Ignore the rules and drive at your peril.
There are companies out there who can help with the current list of what you should carry. Mail Order Company carparts-direct.co.uk supply a bespoke European Travel Kit. A basic kit includes a bulb pack for the specific car. It comes with a warning triangle, tyre-weld, high-viz jacket, GB sticker and beam deflectors. It even includes a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher.
So, next time a quick trip beckons across the Channel, remember it could end up being more costly if rules are not obeyed.
|Comments||Post a comment|
14 July 2011, 12:34PM
I recently took my daughter to France and had forgotten until I got on the ferry that the law in France required you to have a travel kit. It was a costly mistake as I already had on in my husbands car.
14 July 2011, 05:43PM
I really do not know why these rules are not standardised. Things like first-aid kits and warning triangles are actually a good idea. I am no fan of the EU but here is something sensible that could be done with minimum cost and general benefit.
15 July 2011, 09:31AM
Not showing a GB sticker is taking this a bit far. I do not want the mess on my paintwork and so never put one on. I thought the stupid GB sign on the side of the number plate was supposed to make these things redundant.
18 July 2011, 02:29PM
Peter is right. I was under the impression that the GB sign on number plates was compulsory and so do not understand why we will have to display an unsightly sticker on our vehicles.
19 July 2011, 02:20PM
I was stung recently when driving in France, as I was unaware of the rules there. In future when driving abroad I will make sure I check the laws in the country I am driving in.
Doug, Denmark Hill
21 July 2011, 01:07PM
In France Radar traps are frequent. Anyone caught travelling at more than 25km/h above the speed limit can have their licence confiscated on the spot. Radar speed camera detectors are illegal.
25 July 2011, 12:22PM
I found using the barriers on the tolls that take credit cards is usually quicker and easier than paying in cash. Details of service stations selling cheap fuel are also available from the French Tourist Office.
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